10:00 PM ET, December 20, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- There are few certainties in life, but you can always count on death, taxes and Stanford beating Washington State in women's basketball.The Cardinal (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) improved to 41-0 all-time against the Cougars by opening Pac-10 play with a 76-56 rout Tuesday night.Brooke Smith led Stanford (6-2) with 17 points, and Candice Wiggins and Krista Rappahahn both added 14. Kate Benz led Washington State (6-3, 0-1 Pac-10) with 12 points.Smith, working down low, scored eight points during a 10-0 run that gave Stanford the lead for good midway through the first half. The Cardinal led 40-25 after scoring the last eight points of the first half, then Wiggins buried a pair of 3-pointers to start another 10-0 Stanford run to open the second half."You have to play a flawless game against Stanford, you really do -- and we didn't," Washington State coach Sherri Murrell said."I thought we played an uninspired first half," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "We came out in the second half and got things going."Murrell said inside dominance by the 6-foot-3 Smith was a key factor in the lopsided score. Smith, an all-conference player last season after transferring from Duke, went 8-for-13 from the field and had four rebounds, four assists, one steal and one blocked shot."I thought theyd be doubling (double-teaming her) harder," Smith said."In the first half, I thought we played her pretty well defensively," said Keisha Moore, who had eight points and 11 rebounds for Washington State. "In the second half, I was letting her get me deep. She has this amazing hook shot."Stanford shot 52 percent from the field and held Washington State to 33 percent. WSU freshman point guard Katie Appleton made all seven of her turnovers in the first half, when the Cougars had 12 of their 17 turnovers."Twelve first-half turnovers -- that's what hurt us," Murrell said. "You can't make 12 turnovers against the No. 10 team in the nation."Appleton and Amanda Durocher, another freshman guard, both scored 11 points for Washington State. Durocher, playing with a fractured wrist, missed her first eight field-goal attempts before finishing 3-for-13 -- 3-for-11 on 3-pointers.Rappahahn, one of the national leaders with 53 percent shooting on 3-pointers, went 4-for-8 from 3-point range. That helped cover for the absence of star forward Kristen Newlin, who is out indefinitely with a stress reaction in her left femur.Wiggins, the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a freshman last season, sat out most of the second half. VanDerveer said Stanford's big lead let her give Wiggins extra time to rest a left knee injury.The Cougars, who have already matched their total of six wins for each of the previous two seasons, have been blown out the past two games by Top 25 teams Minnesota and Stanford."Merry Christmas, huh?" Murrell said with a smile. "But I like it. This program is getting better and better. We've got to realize what it takes to play a team like that."
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